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Reality Check: Ad attacks Thompson's resume in private sector

Published On: Oct 18 2012 09:08:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 18 2012 09:28:10 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

Another third-party organization is weighing in on the race for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, attacking Republican Tommy Thompson on behalf of Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is sharing its version of Thompson's resume in a new TV ad, but a WISC-TV analysis found the group is giving Thompson more credit for some of the work described than he deserves.

"Losing a job is hard, but for Tommy Thompson, it's easy. Partner in a lobbying firm, working for a company that helps outsource American jobs," the ad says.

WISC-TV found this misleading. Thompson was a law partner at Akin-Gump, a law and lobbying firm, although he never registered as a working lobbyist. Thompson also worked for a company called Deloitte. He was named the chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Care Management and Transformation.

What does that have to do with outsourcing? Not much, according to WISC-TV.

Deloitte is a huge company with many arms, including financial advising, auditing, risk management and tax services. It also does consulting on outsourcing, but Thompson's center was specifically focused on health care issues.

"Under his leadership, companies sent nearly 1,500 jobs overseas, technology jobs to China, manufacturing jobs, and millions in profits for him," the ad says.

WISC-TV found this needs clarification. Thompson was on the board of two more companies, CR Bard and Unisys, which both moved jobs overseas.

At CR Bard, a medical product and technology company, Thompson is still listed on the board of directors.

In February of last year, the company cut about 200 jobs from its Queensbury, N.Y., plant, and most of them went to Mexico. It's unknown how involved Thompson was in the decision or whether the board voted on the move, as the company wouldn't return WISC-TV's calls.

At Unisys, Thompson had a more limited role. He was appointed to what the information technology company calls its "global public sector advisory board," but a spokesman for the company said the board only advised on the company's U.S. government operations and had no part in any decision to move jobs overseas.

As far as Thompson's profits, the ad says he "made millions," although it isn't $13 million, as the ad claims.

Financial disclosures show Thompson has personal assets of $13 million, but in the three companies cited in the ad, his income was around $2.5 million.

Leading up to the election, WISC-TV will do Reality Check reports on the candidates' claims, along with the ads backing them. You can email ideas to realitycheck@channel3000.com and find past Reality Checks under the politics tab on Channel3000.com.

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